Can I get my playlist back on Apple Music after renewal?

If your Apple Music subscription has lapsed or expired, you may be wondering what happens to your playlists and library. The good news is that Apple Music will save your playlists and library for an extended period of time, giving you the chance to renew your subscription and regain access.

What happens to my Apple Music library when my subscription lapses?

When your Apple Music subscription expires, your access to the Apple Music catalog will be restricted. This means you won’t be able to stream songs, download music, or add songs to your library. However, Apple Music does not immediately delete your library or playlists when your subscription lapses.

For a period of time, Apple Music will hold on to your playlists, library, and other data like listening history. This grace period gives you the opportunity to resubscribe before your data is deleted from Apple’s servers.

Grace period for playlist and library data

According to Apple, your Apple Music data, including playlists and library, will be retained for up to 6 months after your subscription ends. This means you have up to 6 months to renew your subscription before losing access to your Apple Music content and data.

The exact length of the grace period may vary, but you can generally expect at least a few months to renew before deletion. If your subscription has lapsed, renewing anytime within 6 months should allow you to get your playlists and library back.

How to regain access to your playlists and library

If your Apple Music subscription lapses, follow these steps to regain access to your playlists and library:

  1. Go to and sign in using your Apple ID.
  2. Click on the Account icon in the top right.
  3. Under Subscriptions, choose Manage.
  4. Renew your Apple Music subscription.

Once your subscription is renewed, your Apple Music app should automatically sync and restore your library, playlists, and other data that was being held. This may take a few hours to complete, but your data should repopulate in the app after some time.

Check after 24 hours

If your playlists and library don’t automatically restore right away, give it some time. Apple recommends checking again after 24 hours to give the system time to fully sync up and process your renewed subscription.

You can also try manually syncing your device to speed up the process. On an iPhone or iPad, go into Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Music and turn off then on again to prompt a manual re-sync.

What if too much time has passed?

If it has been more than 6 months since your Apple Music subscription expired, your playlists, library, and other data may be deleted from Apple’s servers. At that point, there is no way to retrieve or restore this information.

To avoid this, make sure to note your renewal date and renew within 6 months of your subscription end. You can also download your playlist data locally on your devices so you have a backup.

Using playlist transfer services

If your renewal period has passed, third party services like TuneMyMusic, Soundiiz, and STAMP may be able to help transfer your playlists from Apple Music over to another streaming service. They do this by matching songs in your playlists to tracks on other services.

While not an exact restoration, these tools can help you recreate your playlists if too much time has elapsed to renew your Apple Music subscription.

What happens if I cancel my Apple Music subscription?

Canceling or unsubscribing from Apple Music works a bit differently than letting your subscription lapse:

  • Cancelling will immediately cut off your access – Unlike lapsed subscriptions, canceling/unsubscribing deletes your access right away, including playlists and library.
  • No grace period – Apple does not retain your data after an intentional cancellation. Your playlists and library can not be restored if you change your mind later.
  • Use playlist transfer services – To recreate playlists from a canceled Apple Music account, you’ll need to use a third party playlist transfer service right away before data is deleted.

So if you do intentionally cancel Apple Music, be sure to back up or transfer your playlists first if you want to keep that data.

Other Apple Music data that is deleted

When your Apple Music subscription ends, either from a lapse or cancellation, Apple will delete other data in addition to your library and playlists:

  • Your recently played history
  • Play counts
  • Songs/albums marked as liked or disliked
  • Any personalized playlists created for you like My Chill Mix or Friends Mix.

So if you re-subscribe after a lapse, you’ll be starting fresh without any of your previous activity or preferences.

How to download your Apple Music library

To protect yourself against ever losing your Apple Music playlists and library, you can download your content to your devices:

  • Download playlists – Go to a playlist, tap the three dots, choose Download. This saves the playlist for offline listening.
  • Download albums/songs – Tap the three dots next to an album or song and select Download. This saves music for offline use.
  • Automatic Downloads – On your iPhone/iPad, go to Settings > Music and turn on Automatic Downloads under Downloads. This will automatically save Apple Music songs you add to your library for offline listening.

As long as the music remains downloaded on your device, you’ll have access to those songs even without an active Apple Music subscription.

Limits of downloading

Downloaded music from Apple Music is protected by Digital Rights Management. This means downloaded songs will only work on authorized devices logged into your Apple ID. If you log out or delete the apps, those downloads will no longer be accessible.

You are also limited to downloading to 10 devices. And any Apple OS or app updates may remove local music no longer authorized under your subscription.

So downloading provides some protection and access offline, but has limitations compared to fully owning the music files yourself.

Key takeaways

  • Apple Music retains your library, playlists, and data for up to 6 months after your subscription lapses
  • Renew within 6 months to regain access to your Apple Music content
  • Manually sync your devices to help speed up restoration
  • Cancelling Apple Music immediately cuts off access with no grace period
  • Use third party playlist transfer tools to help recreate playlists
  • Download music to have offline access as a backup

The bottom line

As long as you renew your Apple Music subscription within 6 months of lapsing, you should be able to regain access to your playlists, library, and other data. Be sure to renew within that 6 month window. And consider downloading your most important playlists and albums so you have them saved offline as a backup.

While Apple Music won’t retain your data forever after lapsing, this grace period policy provides a great opportunity to resubscribe without losing your Apple Music content and preferences.